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As a monster storm that was predicted to bring up to two feet of snow swirled into New York, the Big Apple’s entertainment industry began cancelations and took precautions to deal with the situation.
Although few Broadway shows play Monday nights, the Broadway League canceled all plays and musicals set for the evening. The brunt of the storm was expected to hit the Northeast corridor Monday evening and into Tuesday. On Tuesday, after the storm didn’t hit New York quite as hard as expected, the Broadway League announced that most shows would go on with their Tuesday night performances, with the exception of Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King, but advised theatergoers to check show websites for specifics. Disney Theatrical Productions made the decision Monday, in the interest of patrons’ and staff safety, to cancel Tuesday night’s shows, following the declaration of a state of emergency by government officials.
The last time New York theater took a big hit from the weather was with Hurricane Sandy, which darkened Broadway for four days in 2012 and led to more than $8.5 million in lost revenue. Monday night’s Metropolitan Opera performance of Iolanta/Bluebeard’s Castle also was canceled.
On the TV side, both The View and Live With Kelly and Michael were preparing pretaped episodes to air Tuesday. The latter is set to air a repackaged show, with a rep citing safety concerns for the show’s audience, guests and staff and expected news and weather-related preemptions.
The View is hoping to proceed with a live show Tuesday if the weather allows everyone to get there safely, but the ABC daytime show is putting together a pretaped, mostly new episode, a source told The Hollywood Reporter. After Monday’s live show wrapped, that day’s panelists (Whoopi Goldberg, Nicolle Wallace, Stacy London and Carolina Bermudez) recorded two more Hot Topics segments and spoke to ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee about the weather; Monday’s musical guest Ne-Yo performed another song, and the show has a crafting segment with co-host Rosie O’Donnell in the can. (It recently aired but was preempted on the East Coast and in Central time zones.)
CBS This Morning was planning to put essential show staff in hotels near the studio and use shuttles to transport them in the morning, a rep told THR. Fox News will make arrangements for essential employees, the network said. Meanwhile, the pre-Fox & Friends morning show, Fox & Friends First, will start an hour early, at 4 a.m. Tuesday.
In the late-night world, CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman said it was still planning to proceed with tapings. NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers are in reruns this week. Even L.A.-based late-night shows were watching the weather, with a rep for CBS’ West Coast-based Late Late Show telling THR that the show had its guest hosts for the week stay close by and that it moved some flight times up to get people to L.A. early.
As for TV series production, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting announced early Monday that filming permits for Tuesday were suspended due to winter weather.
Both The Blacklist and The Mysteries of Laura are shut down for tomorrow, an NBC rep said. Meanwhile, Law & Order: SVU was able to film a bit on stage Monday but will be idle Tuesday, a rep said, noting that the main priority was the safety of everyone working on the show. CBS’ Elementary, Person of Interest and The Good Wife are not filming tomorrow due to the weather, and will reevaluate plans for the rest of the week Tuesday.
In other TV-related news, Monday night’s planned premiere of The Americans at the Museum of Modern Art has been canceled, a source close to the event told THR.
Many New York City movie theaters also closed early. Louis C.K.’s Tuesday night show at Madison Square Garden was also canceled on Monday due to the weather forecast, but the comedian got the last laugh.
C.K. sent an email to ticketholders, poking fun at the hysteria surrounding the blizzard expected to hit the Northeast. He wrote jokingly about the media billing the storm as “historic” too early. He says he’s “not one to defy future historic events.” He adds he thinks it’s clearly better that he “alter history in the name of safety and cancel.”
Snow was already falling fast and blowing sideways by midafternoon Monday in New York. “It is not a regular storm,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned in ordering city streets closed to all but emergency vehicles beginning at 11 p.m. “What you are going to see in a few hours is something that hits very hard and very fast.”
As of late Monday afternoon, Boston was expected to get two to three feet of snow, New York one-and-a-half to two feet, and Philadelphia more than a foot. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for a 250-mile swath of the region from Philadelphia to Boston, meaning heavy, blowing snow and potential whiteout conditions.
More than 5,800 flights in and out of the Northeast were canceled, and many of them may not take off until Wednesday. Schools and businesses let out early. State government offices closed. About half of all flights out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport were called off Monday, and about 60 percent of flights heading into the airport were scratched. Boston’s Logan Airport said there would be no flights after 7 p.m. Monday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and urged commuters to stay home Monday, warning that roads could be closed before the evening rush hour, including major highways such as the New York Thruway and the Long Island Expressway.
The New York Stock Exchange, meanwhile, said it would stay open and operate normally Monday and Tuesday.
Aaron Couch, Pamela McClintock and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jan. 26, 3:30 p.m. Updated with more information about TV show contingency plans.
Jan. 27, 9:44 a.m. Updated with Louis C.K. concert cancelation, Broadway plans for Tuesday night.
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